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Shadow work - Sifting the inner voices to reclaim authentic personal authority


Facilitated shadow work for untangling inner voices

Patricia wanted to be able to connect with the part of her inside that was truly authentic, it was a guiding inner voice that she knew was there somewhere as a whisper. She remembered. This was the place of her intuition, her centre, and she wanted to be reconnected with it. The voice she heard the loudest was an internal self-deprecating, critical, powerful and darkly punishing voice. There was little space to hear anything else.


In her session she represented this critical part of her with a coloured piece of fabric placed in the centre of the room. She came to sit down and as she looked back she realised that she had to make the representation of this part of her much much bigger. The representation of this critical part of her finally took up over half the space. She also represented the authentic part of her, in stark contrast, with a tiny scrunched up piece of fabric.


Patricia wanted to understand how this critical voice had gained so much power in her inner world. She wanted to turn down volume. She wanted it gone. She wanted to make a space inside. Space for that voice that she remembered and that she trusted and knew had more to tell her.


And so we stepped into this piece of work together by really getting to know this critical voice, approaching with a patience and a curiosity to really meet, understand and acknowledge it.

 

As children, we all had the potential to trust our inner guidance, our intuition and our instincts. But it is a rare experience where people grow up in an environment which really supports that inner autonomy of the child. More often we find ourselves attempting to fit in, to win the approval of the teacher or parent. So necessarily, we trade bits and pieces of our intrinsic authority, that instinctual truth. We trade it away bit by bit and we loose that connection with ourselves. Later in life we find ourselves either serving what people are expecting of us or we find ourselves running away from them.


Recovering our personal authority

So how do we recover this inner personal authority amongst the cacophony of inner turbulence and the onslaught of external demands? We can experience so many different voices: conflicting voices in our culture, in our family, and inside ourselves. These voices inside can be received voices that we think are ours. So in order to gain clarity there is an invitation here to sift through these voices to establish which ones come from our own depths and which ones are received voices from my parents, my family of origin, or are are coming from the outer world. These voices are not all necessarily right or wrong, but it is important to begin to sort through it all and make some choices because otherwise, like Patricia, we find ourselves living in response to the loudest voice that comes our way.



There are no bad parts


The voices that we hear are connected to parts of our personality. No parts of us are intrinsically bad: they may have extreme roles, perhaps due to extreme beliefs or perhaps in order to defend from perceived threat or to proactively avoid overwhelming internal feeling states.


Until we build a relationship with these inner parts we have no connection with them, we likely don't want to listen to what they have to say, we want to shut them down, we don't understand them, and we can’t help them to do something different or help them to heal.


Inner relational clarity through facilitated shadow work


Facilitated shadow work offers a shame free, safe and supportive place to lean into these places so that we can begin to sift through these inner voices, building inner relational awareness, attending to what no longer serves and reclaiming those authentic voices and parts of us that know us better than anyone else and have the innate authority to hold, heal and guide us, from the inside.


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